After I took my first Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in 2001 I was eager to refer my patients who suffered chronic pain to the courses offered in Canada—but found barriers. The eight week, three hour per week, course included yoga, a day of silence and, in the first class, a 45 minute body scan meditation. It was just too overwhelming for most of my patients.
Nowadays, body scans are shorter, but the program we began to evolve in 2002 from MBSR and called Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM™) took down the barriers and amplified trauma-informed and sensitive strategies. This increased our selection of whom we could refer. More of those living with chronic pain could manage it, and fewer were apprehensive about it—plus it increased retention throughout the program.
When patients/clients commit to putting in the time required for these mindfulness courses—which are now also offered online into their own homes—the transformation we see in them is awe-inspiring and heartwarming—and “just what the doctor ordered—!”
With Mindfulness practice, change becomes life-long, continually improving and sustaining. Overwhelming scientific evidence supports this work.
Persuading our patients, and ourselves, to take the time for one of the most important interventions we can provide, can be life changing. For them, and for us.